Immediately the king sent a soldier of the guard with orders to bring John’s head. He went and beheaded him in the prison, brought his head on a platter, and gave it to the girl. Then the girl gave it to her mother. When his disciples heard about it, they came and took his body, and laid it in a tomb.
The apostles gathered around Jesus, and told him all that they had done and taught. He said to them, ‘Come away to a deserted place all by yourselves and rest a while.’ For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat. And they went away in the boat to a deserted place by themselves. [Mark 6: 27-33]
I used to try writing songs in my 20s, but I never got very proficient as a musician (never got past a few basic chords on a guitar), and so I moved on to other creative endeavors.
But last year sometime, the above text was part of the gospel lesson one Sunday and the "come away" sounded particularly musical to me that day, and this bubbled up. I imagined it as Jesus to his disciples and I also imagined it today as a lament for anyone who feels or sees the powers of the world destroying our heroes and our hope. Of course, that includes LGBT folk.
On June 12, 2016, a man with guns entered a club in Orlando Florida and killed 49 people and wounded that many and more beside. I had no words to talk about it. I shared a couple of things other people said on Facebook, but I didn't know what to say for myself.
Then this song that I can't play on a guitar bubbled up again. I sat on my couch and sang it for my laptop and posted it for my Facebook friends.
And casual and frumpy as I am, singing poorly and missing notes, I'm going to let this be my commentary on the Orlando shooting. For now.
Come away to a quiet place.
Come away and rest awhile. (2x)
Without joy and full of fear,
With little hope and some despair,
We'll take our grief to a lonely place.
We'll seek our solace there.
Because we still have a little hope
We'll survive what we can't bear.
In our own nation we are exiles.
Shunned and shamed by our own tribe.
We'll heal our wounds in a lonely place,
Far from home but still alive.
We have no home. But we have breath.
In the breath we will abide.
From our exile, we will arise.
We won't always feel this way.
We'll gather strength in this lonely place,
Strength to face the coming day
When we will die as we love.
Love will have the final say.